Arrivederci, Italiano!

Penultimate Italiano la sera. *Thank you, Jason for my word of the day, that I USED in a sentence. See ——–> used in a sentence*

Penultimate – next to last class.

I had my penultimate Italian conversation class last night. It was bittersweet. What a wonderful adventure the last six weeks has been, I’d love to tell you all about it. I promise to speak mostly inglese. *deal with it spell checker* Sorry ENGLISH. Ahem.

Io amore Italia. I LOVE ITALY. If I didn’t know before, maybe I wasn’t sure, or maybe I was too scared to commit. Well, I am out of the closet now. I absolutely LOVE this country, this culture, this language. I sit in class, soaking it up. It settles into my bones. It tells me – I belong here – I am your heritage and where you originated from.

Il nonno – my grandfather – was raised in Italy. He grew up in Northern part. He came to the United States a young man. He married a French woman named Dorotha. They had my mom. Growing up I proudly pronounced, I am a quarter French and a quarter Italian. Named after my Uncle Angel. My Italian heritage is my birthright. It means everything to me. *my looks favor the French side*

My Papa Jimmy passed away when I was 16 yrs old. I have said – all my life – he is my guardian Angel. How do I know this? Well, during my party days, there were several many mornings when I woke up after drinking heavily and had no idea, how I drove from town to my mom’s house (8 miles away). No idea. Except that he was with me. He guided me safely home.

When I attempted my first garden, with my mom’s help, I had a variety of beautiful flowers. I had all kinds. The next spring what came up abundantly, Zinnias, which happen to be my Papa’s favorite flower. He used to throw Zinnia seeds all over his garden and they would come up everywhere. That is what happened to me, without planting a single one, they came up everywhere, all different colors. They grew as tall as my chest. It was incredible!

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And now, as I finish six weeks of classes, two times a week, two hours at a session. It sinks in. My Papa. My Papa got me in Italiano. His heritage put in the desiderare. He is beaming and calling me to Italy. I yearn to go.

My favorite part of the class? The videos of Italy. The different cities, landscapes, history – oh my gosh, the history –  I was never interested in history until this class. The richness of this country is breathtaking. With it’s astounding contrasts, a Roman Empire that changed the world, crescent-shaped coastal cities, tarnished splendor filled with art.  Art and majesty that distinguish this country from many others. I am beyond impressed.

I took Italian because I was interested in where my Papa came from, because I wanted to know about our families culture. I ended up with more than I ever thought possible. A place in my heart filled by the love I have for this country. Did I learn to speak fluent Italian? HA. No. I could get by. My instructor was wonderful. He was native Italian, cute as a button, with an adorable accent. He had us doing a lot of Italian two conversations. He earnestly wanted us to learn as much as we could. Many of the students were actually going to Italy this spring. *GOING to Italy, whimper*

Alas, as much as I love all things Italia, I am NOT crazy about taking classes and studying. Blech. I knew there was a reason I didn’t go to college. *I applaud all of you that do it. You have my utmost respect, utmost*

I hope to take Italian two this Spring. I just need a class break, a looooong fall break, if you will. In the meantime, I will continue to study my book. I will keep trying to make my tongue say the words right. In my head and in my ear I understand, but when I speak out loud, it’s all wrong. *practice, practice*

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Possibly, I will convince my mom she NEEDS to take me to Italy with her. I already know everything I need to travel with her.

“Quanto costa?” How much is it?

“Dov’e il bagno?” Where is the bathroom?

“Vorrei spaghetti.” I would like spaghetti. (oh wait, that’s for me, whoops)

Good-bye Italian! It was so nice to meet you, know you, revere you. I can’t wait to see you again. Piacere! Molto lieto!
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Fall Italiano class 2009

Prepararsi per Italiano

Buongiorno!

Well my friends, I have signed up for Italian conversation class at the local continuing education department at UTA.
HOW EXCITING??!!

I studied one language growing up. French. Oui. And NONS! Not the best idea. Not in Oklahoma & sure not for Texas! But I took it four years total. The last two were independent study. I even got to visit France for a month when I was 16. Oui! Oui! Oui!

How that came about was my mom & dad hosted a exchange student from France named Fabienne. She stayed with us a month in the summer. We had a blast! She was great. She was my same age and so very cute & hip. She had an adorable accent. She actually did wear a bathing suit top & shaved her underarms & legs & bathed regularly(ha). I thought she adapted to America very well.

So in turn , I travelled to France over Christmas break. Off to Paris I went. Fresh from the country to a foreign country. I knew my French was going to get lots of practice. This was my Christmas present from my step dad. How awesome is that???

Paris was beautiful. I saw the Arc de Triomphe first. What a sight that was and all along the Champs Elysees. *sidenote* As a Mom now I wonder how in the WORLD did my parents let me go to another country completely alone at 16?????*end sidenote*
Everything was soooo different! They had McDonald’s yes but it was not like OUR McDonald’s & the sodas (or cokes as I call em) no ice.

Nothing tasted the same at all. Everyone drank (but didn’t get drunk mind you) & smoked & did not bathe for two weeks or a month or more(but wore lots of perfume haha). Clothes were washed once a month. Food was waaaay different. Lamb guts & stuff like that. I even saw the Dad eat the brain of a Rabbit! Grossness!  I did like the smoked salmon & the pate which obviously we didn’t have in Oklahoma. (haha)

Right after I got there, we travelled by car to Briancon which is a little ski town in France right on the border of Italy in the Alps. Most of her family lived there. That is where we went to celebrate Christmas & New Years. The accent was different & I couldn’t understand their French there at all. I also could not translate my skiing ability nor my ski or shoe size. Soooo I ended up with super long skis & took many tumbles on the Alps until frustrated & mad bit of my gloves in a huff about to walk off the dang mountain.
Needless to say her Dad took me by ski lift back to the lodge. (ha) *sidenote again* Wish I could have really soaked in & appreciated the beauty of the Alps*end sidenote* But the ski town was great! I actually got to meet & hang out with Luc Alphone the downhill ski champion of France & many years later would see him on TV in the Olympics. Wow!

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